Crop and Livestock Production

Main Crops Produced

Agriculture is the predominant economic activity in the county and contributes 17.4 per cent of the county‘s population income. It is the leading sub sector in terms of employment, food security, income earnings and overall contribution to the socio-economic well being of the people. Majority of the people in the county depend on the sub sector for their livelihood, with 304,449 directly or indirectly employed in the sector. Coffee and tea are the main cash crops in the county. The main food crops grown in the county are maize, beans, pineapples and irish potatoes. These are mainly grown in small scale in the upper highlands of Limuru, Kikuyu, Gatundu North and South Constituencies.

Acreage under Food Crops and Cash Crops

The county has a total arable land of 1,878.4 Km2 of which a total of 21,447 Ha is under food crops and a total of 35,367.41 Ha is under cash crops. The main food crops grown in the county include maize, beans, irish potatoes and cabbages. Coffee and tea form the major cash crops grown in the county especially in the upper and lower highlands. Pineapples are also being produced in large quantities in the county especially in Gatundu North and South Constituencies.

Average Farm Sizes

With the increased population growth, there has been continuous decrease in average farm sizes. Currently the average farm size under small scale farming is 0.36 Ha and 69.5 Ha under large scale farming. The areas with small land holdings are mostly found in the upper parts of Gatundu North, Gatundu South, Kiambaa, Limuru and Kikuyu constituencies.

Main Storage Facilities

The main storage facilities of the food crops are the National Cereals and Produce Board silos, on-farm storage, granaries and also in-house storage. Due to the fact that farms have been subdivided into small units, majority of the food crops produced is consumed within the family and hence no problems associated with storage have been documented.

Main Livestock Bred

According to 2009 Population and Housing Census, the numbers of livestock in the county were as follows: 230,294 cattle, 120,056 Sheep, and 89,817 goats. In addition, there were 2,600,837 poultry, 46,493 pigs, 13,662 donkeys and 127 camels. In the year 2010, the county produced 267.5 million Kgs of milk valued at Kshs. 5.0 billion; and 36.2 million Kgs of beef valued at Kshs. 6.5 billion. Production of mutton was at 106,686 Kgs valued at Kshs. 42.7 million. Further, the county recorded production of 266.9 million Kgs of eggs, valued at Kshs. 699.2 million; poultry meat produced was 76.2 million Kgs, valued at Kshs. 142.9 million, honey produced was 134,332 Kgs valued at Kshs. 67.2 million and 1.8 million Kgs of pork valued at Kshs. 631.1 million. Growth in this sub-sector has been encouraged by a ready urban market in Thika, Ruiru, Kiambu and Nairobi and the availability of local food processing factories such as Farmers´ Choice Ltd, Kenchic Co. Ltd, Brookside Dairies, Githunguri Dairies, Ndumberi Dairies, Limuru Milk and Palmside Dairies, among others. There are no ranches within the county.